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Yes – Yours Is No Disgrace

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Yes is one of the greatest progressive rock groups of the ’70s, their music is often referred to as a symphonic rock. Established in 1968 in Birmingham, England, it immediately won the hearts of young fans.

Yes discography looks impressive. Beginning from the late 1960s, the album of musicians Yes – Jon Anderson, Billy Bruford, Steve Howe, Alan White, Rick Wakeman, Chris Squire and Trevor Rabin appears almost every year in stores. The best productions of Yes to “Fragile”, “Close To The Edge”, “90125”, “Keys to Ascension”.

According to Edward Macan, “Yours Is No Disgrace” “is generally recognized as Yes’ first antiwar song” (though “Harold Land” from their debut album deals with the subject of war). Anderson has stated that the theme of the song was the recognition that the kids fighting the war had no choice but to fight and that the war wasn’t their fault.

Author Bill Martin describes “Yours Is No Disgrace” as “a remarkable and subtle song about the Vietnam War. The lyrics make their point by contrasting the suffering of the soldiers in Vietnam with people partying in Las Vegas. Thompson praises the line “On a sailing ship to nowhere” as “[conjuring] a mental image that the music cannot help but echo.”

The original words “armies gather near” (confirmed in every recorded live version) have been misprinted as “armies scatter the earth” numerous times, suggesting this may have been a mis-transcription in the first published version, as the album cover itself did not include lyrics. However, this does not appear to have impacted the overall anti-war interpretation of the song.

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